The End of an Era
It truly is the end of an era, “No Time to Die” marks the final installment involving Daniel Craig’s James Bond. Fifteen years ago, he exploded onto the screen with his fresh take on 007 in “Casino Royale”, and he’s been raising the bar ever since. The film open with James and Madeleine (Lea Seydoux) on holiday, their love on full display as James attempts to reconcile his past. After a betrayal and James unable to be sure of Madeline‘s true intentions, he’s forced to let her go. Years later, James find himself thrust-back into the criminal organization known as SPECTRE with a side mission with his CIA counterpart Felix Leiter when it all goes terribly wrong. Forced to pick up a life he’s left behind, James is all the more determined to uncover their sinister plot. Can James and MI6 reconcile their history? Or will he be forced to solve this on his own?
It truly is remarkable to think that it’s only been 15 years and five different films involving Daniel Craig’s James Bond. While he won’t go down as my favorite Bond (no one will ever top Sean Connery), there’s no denying his cornerstone place in its history; he will always be known as my generation’s James Bond. As most of you are aware, his era has also had some of the most inter-film storylines in the history of the franchise. Vesper’s character arc, SPECTRE, Blofeld, and the list goes on and on. That means, as his final outing, that “No Time to Die” had a lot of loose ends to tie-up. This is accomplished due to its 2 1/2 hour running time; but it is impressive how quickly the film moves and leaves you both wanting more but satisfies you at the same time. As with any recent Bond offering, the film is packed with impressive and jaw-dropping action spectacles and sequences. But one of the film’s most important elements is its ensemble. Led by Craig, the film brings everyone who’s still alive back into the mix: M (Ralph Fiennes), Q (Ben Whishaw), Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), Felix (Jeffrey Wright), and so many more. Additionally the film brings new and exciting characters as well, led-by Malek’s Safin, along with a few new agents as well played by Lashana Lynch and Ana de Armas. The film’s main villain, Safin, is a true cinematic delight in the spirit of some of our favorite Bond villains from the past. Mysterious, violent, methodical, and unpredictable; Malek does an excellent job at bringing him to life and captivates in every scene. While not to give anything away, there are also multiple callbacks to the franchise’s storied past that are sure to make even the most common of viewers nostalgic. Though it is sad that the Daniel Craig era is over, I am more than happy to announce that the theme of bad final Bond outing films has snapped as they deliver an excellent, moving finale to this 007.
And just in case you had any worries, as the credits finish rolling… JAMES BOND WILL RETURN
NO TIME TO DIE is rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, brief strong language and some suggestive material